EXTRACT FROM THE ADDRESS AT THE OPENING OF THE NURSES' HOME OF THE FAULKNER HOSPITAL, JUNE 12, 1913. By George W. Gay, M.D. Members of the Graduating Class and Alumnae: You have finished your course in the Training School, but you have by no means finished your training, or your edu- cation and you never will so long as you pursue your voca- tion in a proper manner. It is with you, as it is with the physicians, there is always something to learn and those who keep an open mind will be the most successful in life. The first requisite of a good nurse is character. It is the cornerstone of her development. Upon it rests the super- structure of her life. Honesty, truthfulness, reliability, discretion, kindness and interest in her work are essentials in a first rate nurse. The second requisite is good health. Without that no one should think of entering your pro- fession or mine. It is also hoped that you are blessed with a cheerful, hopeful temperament, which will enable you to look upon the bright side of things, not only for your sake, but also for the good of your patients. It goes without saying that you will be expected to uphold the dignity of your profession by conducting yourselves as ladies under all circumstances. Your position in the community will be largely what you make it and it should be your aim to make it an enviable one. Your work will partake of the qualities of a profession, as well as of a business. It is something more than mere dollars and cents. The humanities are never to be lost sight of in dealing with the sick and injured. It is not difficult to believe that patients would be the gainers could every physician and every nurse have the personal experi- ence of a severe illness. They would learn some things of the sickroom that they will learn in no other way. This remark applies particularly to little things, such as rust- ling skirts, squeaking shoes, slamming doors, rattling win- dows, flapping curtains, dropping dishes, collisions with the bed and other articles of furniture and a thousand other things that are so annoying to an invalid. Trifles, you say ! Yes, to be sure, but trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle. In going out into the world to pursue your vocation the first lesson you may have to learn is the difference between hospital and private nursing. In the hospital you have formed a part of an organization that is conducted upon certain rules and regulations. Your work has been system- atized. You have had certain prescribed duties to per- form and were always under the supervision of superiors. Some one was always at hand of whom you could ask ad- vice and assistance. In private nursing all this is changed. You are no longer the autocrat of the situation and cannot control the surroundings to the extent that you have been accustomed in the hospital. You will have to consider the wishes, the whims, the peculiarities of your patients and their friends, as never before. Futhermore, you will be thrown upon your own resources in emergencies. You will be the mainstay of the patient and the family in the ab- sence of the physician, and must do the best you can under the circumstances. Occasionally, but not often, you may be called upon to exhibit what the great Napoleon called "two o'clock in the morning courage." Here is where your training, backed up with common sense, will stand you in good stead. I hope that you are liberally endowed with that most useful quality. The nurse and the physician should always work together amicably in the interests of the patient. The interests of all lie in the same direction, those of the patient taking precedent. The nurse should be loyal to the doctor. Each is the complement of the other. The nurse should remember that the physician alone is responsible for the professional services in the case in hand. That her duty consists in carrying out his directions and in the general management of the sickroom. She is in no way responsible for the diag- nosis or treatment of the case. She should be chary, very chary, of criticism of the physician. You will meet with all kinds and it behooves you to accept the situation met with and make the best of it. It is not your province to select a physician for people. You should realize the fact that your choice might be no better than theirs, in which case you might be subjected to much criticism. Be discreet and never lose sight of the golden rule. By reason of your peculiar relations to the public, you will naturally come to be the repository of many family secrets. I trust that none may escape you. Do not cultivate wire- less telegraphy, nor let household number two know from you what is going on in household number one. Guard the private affairs of your patients, as you would have your own protected and as every honorable physician and nurse do protect them and have from time immemorial. Let the conversation in the sickroom be quiet, cheerful, hopeful, free from whispering and from the recital of hos- pital and other startling experiences. Sick people have little staying power, are easily fatigued by mental or physical exertion. Not realizing this fact, they are liable to overdo to their detriment. It is for the nurse to protect these peo- ple until they are able to care for themselves. Here is one of the many situations where your good judgment comes in, thus enabling you to control the situation. A nurse that can get along amicably with the domestics, thereby not disturbing the ordinary routine of the family, is a treasure indeed. Discretion, tact, and again tact, will be required to accomplish this object in many instances. Harmony in the household is most essential and it is worth your utmost endeavor to achieve it. May your efforts in this direction be always successful. So much for your duties to the patient, to the family and to the physician. Now for the other side of the picture, and that refers to your compensation for your services. One of your most satisfactory reflections as time goes on and your experience accumulates, will be the conviction that you have done faithful service, have given satisfaction to your employers, and have been successful in your chosen vocation. The fact that you are trusted and respected in the commu- nity, that your services are always in demand, that you are received and welcomed in the families you have served, that you have the commendation of the best people, make life worth living and your reputation worth all that it has cost you to gain it. Character tells in the long run, as does nothing else. At the risk of being thought too mercenary, I must call your attention for a moment to the commercial side of your work. Faithful, intelligent service will bring you the satisfaction of work well done, but sentiment will not pay your bills, nor will it enable you to lay by something for a rainy day, when you can earn little or nothing. You should realize the fact that the time may come when, a dollar will be the best friend you can have. Nurses, like physicians, have their day after which they must step aside for the new-comers. It therefore behooves us to be prepared to meet the changed conditions. Even should you be so fortunate as to obtain a happy home of your own, and I most sincerely hope you will, a nest egg in the shape of a bank account will never come amiss under any circumstances. Experience teaches that it is not infrequently more difficult to keep money, than it is to get it. Hence be careful in your investments. Look out for the principal. The in- come will take care of itself. Savings banks in this vicinity are the safest places for reasonable amounts of savings. Be shy of ten per cent, temptations and promises. Many a competency has been lost and many a worthy person has been thrown upon charity in this way. Avoid speculation, pro- motions, and "wild cats" of all sorts. Be safe rather than sorry. And finally, don't lend money to your friends. Give it to them if you want to, but don't lend it to them. Friend- ship is one thing, business is another and they are often- times singularly incompatible ! You cannot compel friends to pay debts, as you can strangers. Hence it is wiser to avoid these complications. There will be plenty of unavoidable ones in your careers. Members of the Graduating Class: Be honest, be faithful, be patient, be sympathetic, be kind and gentle in your care of the sick, be considerate of the family and friends, be loyal to the physician, be true to your profession and to yourselves. Let the golden rule be your guiding star. And so at the end of a long and successful career may you enjoy the satisfaction of realizing that you made no mistake in entering the noblest vocation open to women.